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City Council addresses Dairy Queen nuisance property

The Webster City City Council passed a resolution Monday evening establishing the Dairy Queen at 1403 Superior St. as a nuisance property and giving owners Ron and Steve Hellman 30 days to abate the nuisance or show significant progress.

The city Inspection Department served the Hellmans with Unsafe Building Notices on May 31, July 10 and Sept. 17, but “nothing has been accomplished,” according to council documents.

“The building has been deteriorating over the years with weather rotten wood siding; rotten, loose and hanging soffits; holes in the soffits allowing for birds and squirrels to enter the building; deteriorated window frames and a hole in the back door,” the complaint reads.

Steve Hellman wrote to the City Council in October to request the matter to be put on the docket for the Nov. 4 council meeting.

Cory Simpson, city inspector, updated the council on the progress with the Dairy Queen building.

“After talking with Ron, I have a pretty good feeling that me and him and Steve are on a good page working towards a resolution to get the façade portion, or the outside of the building, in better repair,” Simpson said.

Ron Hellman also addressed the city council.

“We have all intentions of getting it done,” he said of the repairs. “We realize it’s in our best interests and it’s an eyesore right now.”

The city council approved the resolution, establishing the nuisance, but giving the Hellmans an additional 30 days to make the required repairs.

In other business, the city council set a public hearing for 6:05 p.m. on Dec. 16 for the 2019 Building Demolition Project, which will include buildings at 1021 Clark St. and 1014 Elm St.

The council also approved a request from the city street supervisor Brandon Bahrenfuss to request bids for tree grinding services at the tree/brush drop-off site and approval to award the contract if the bids come in under the budgeted amount.

Since 2003, a city ordinance has banned leave burning and burn barrels. Since that time, the city has kept open its public drop-off site for trees and tree debris, which the city has then contracted out to different businesses to grind the debris into mulch. In 2018, the city awarded DeBoef Grinding of New Sharon a $14,750 contract to grind that year’s debris.

City Manager Jeff Sheridan gave the council an update on staff changes for the recreation and public grounds department.

“Effective Nov. 1, 2019, Larry Flaws will be moving into position of interim director of recreation and public grounds,” Sheridan told the council.

He said the staff had been great in stepping up and keeping the department running following the tragic and unexpected death of its director, Kent Harfst, in late September.

“I couldn’t have asked for better people to work with in this situation,” Sheridan said. “We fully expect probably in three to six months that these appointments will be made permanent.”

The next Webster City City Council meeting will be Monday, Nov. 18, at 6 p.m. at City Hall. The city council meetings are always open to the public.

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